Three local Madison schools will accept state tuition vouchers for the 2011-2012 school year. This is part of the newly created “Indiana Choice Scholarship Program.” Space is limited and parents are required to verify income and previous enrollment status. Local schools approved include:
- Christian Academy of Madison 273-5000
- Pope John XXIII School 273-5835
- Shawe Memorial High School 273.2150
There is no online application for school vouchers and everyone must work through one of the qualified schools. The official Indiana Department of Education website states:
Work with the school to complete the Choice Scholarship application. The application will be done via a password-protected website that only school administrators will have access to. The application process may include providing a copy of your tax returns or other documents proving household income. The school is required to keep this information on file in case the department decides to audit the school, so be as helpful to the school as possible.
Indiana School Vouchers Requirements
The program is limited to children who have previously attending an public school. There is also a sliding income requirement based on household size. For example, a household of four could make up to $41,347 and qualify for the maximum benefit. That same family earning up to $62,021 would qualify for a partial voucher. The program is limited to students in grades 1 through 12.
To be eligible, a student must meet the following requirements: Have legal settlement in Indiana;
Be accepted for enrollment into a participating school that is located in Indiana; Be between the ages of 5 and 22 no later than August 1 of the school year; Live in a household at or below the household income limits;
Either: (A) Have been enrolled in an Indiana public school (grade 1 through 12, charters included) that did not charge the individual transfer tuition for at least two (2) semesters before applying for a Choice Scholarship; or(B) Have received a scholarship from one of the following in a previous school year: Educational Choice Charitable Trust, School Scholarship Granting Organization of Northeast Indiana, Tuition Assistance Fund of Southwestern Indiana, North Central Indiana Scholarship Granting Organization, Sagamore Institute.
To see the full list of limitations, visit the program’s official website.
Does this program reduce public school funding?
This program does not directly reduce money from local public schools. Student census is determined by enrollment on “counting day” every September. State funding is apportioned according to those numbers. In reality, all education alternatives result in the same drop in enrollment. On the other hand, opponents of the program predict eventual drops in public school funding statewide.